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Exclusive: 89-Year-Old World War II Veteran Describes Fight With Carjacker

Alex Grame Said He Simply Was Not Going To Give Up His Prized Possession
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Alex Grame (credit: CBS 2)

Alex Grame (credit: CBS 2)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Alex Grame, an 89-year-old from Queens who gave a carjacker much more than he bargained for, recounted his fight for his beloved 1992 Olds Cutlass with CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman.

“As I opened the door to get out, he approached me with a gun,” Grame said Friday. “And he says, ‘Let me have your keys. And, I want your car.’ I said, ‘You’re not having my car,’ I told him.”

According to police, the suspect was armed with a BB gun.

“He put the gun in his left hand. And he kept hitting me, both hands,” Grame said. “And I think he got me over here (forehead) a little, but I ducked a couple of times, you know? So otherwise it would have been a lot worse.”

Grame is a World War II veteran. He had his dog tags on a chain with the keys. They were lost in the fight, but police found them.

“The chain broke. And that’s when these two fellas walked down from the corner with a pipe to help me out. And that’s when he took off,” he said.

“Oh, I love him. Before this ever happened, he’s my hero,” Doug Grame said of his father.

Emilio Polanco and his father did not know Alex Grame, but still came to help.

“Ran over there. And the old man was bleeding,” Polanco said. “I just felt like we had to do it. I mean, he looked helpless, you know?”

Police caught the suspect about a mile away. They said he was holding a BB gun and was shot. The 46-year-old man is in Elmhurst Hospital.

Neighbor Joy Riconda ran out of her house when she saw Alex and Doug, still marveling that Alex fought back.

“It was amazing” she said, adding however, “I think it’s better to lose a car than your life.”

So why did Alex Grame fight back?

“It’s my car. I treasure it,” he answered.

Police said two other Good Samaritans followed the suspect in a van, called 911 and helped police find him.

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